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Clementel-Jones, C. (1987). International Conference of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. Brit. J. Psychother., 4(2):156-160.

(1987). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 4(2):156-160

International Conference of the Society for Psychotherapy Research

Cecilia Clementel-Jones

The International Conference of the Society for Psychotherapy Research took place in Ulm from 16 to 21 June 1987. The annual meeting of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) was attended by nearly three hundred participants, the majority of them from the United States, in the relaxed and genteel setting of this southern German town with its handsome ancient buildings on the banks of the Danube. It was hard to believe the town had been almost entirely destroyed during the last war, indeed the place of our meeting was formerly a church, entirely rebuilt as a community meeting centre.

Four different panels ran concurrently, each panel with three or four short papers and limited space for discussion. All interests and orientations were catered for: experiential and Rogerian schools, psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, cognitive and behavioural therapies and/or analysis, family therapy (systems approach), psychophysiology and psychosomatics. The boom of various schools of brief therapy, with relevant research, over the last 10-15 years showed no signs of abating. Computers figured too. Some papers related to computer-aided linguistics analysis applied to transcripts of therapy sessions. This ‘high tec’ development was fostered by H. Dahl, of New York State University, and H. Kachele, our host, Professor of Psychotherapy in the Medical School of the University of Ulm. Although I had come a short flight from London I quickly realised that, as far as psychotherapy is concerned, I had landed on another planet.

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